PONTIAC March 25, 2019
In these uncertain times when people are being laid off or having their hours scaled back, Bouffe Pontiac is adapting to the new reality with protocols for COVID-19.
Their thrift store has already been shut down and they are currently refusing clothing and other donations to the store at this time. In addition, they will be scheduling pickups by appointment only, and reducing their staff from three employees and three volunteers to just two people.
“The reason we’re working with appointments is we want to make sure we don’t have like 15 clients all together in the lobby,” explained Bouffe director Kim Laroche. “By working by appointment, at least we’ll schedule them and they won’t be ten at a time.”
Clients ring a doorbell at the facility and an employee will bring their basket out to them, keeping their distance as regulated by the government. She added that the food bank, located in Campbell’s Bay, had seen an uptick in the distribution of their emergency baskets.
“With this situation going on, we have extra emergency boxes that we have to do,” she said. “For example … this month so far, we had 11 emergencies that we don’t [normally] get.”
In addition, with supply chains disrupted, Laroche said they could have a more difficult time getting staples like rice, cereal or canned goods from their suppliers at the same price. She said that they typically restock twice a month, and currently have stock on the shelves.
“If we have the regular amount of clients we do, it will last about the next three weeks,” she said.
She said they would gratefully accept any food items or monetary donations from the public. However, they have planned for an increase in need from the community and also for a possible increase in costs to purchase food items.
“That’s a situation that could also happen, that we’re anticipating also,” she said. “It’s hard to tell, because it all depends on so many factors.”
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